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Top teams race in Calvin Invite

Kate Grabarek | Monday, September 22, 2008

Saint Mary’s ran a tough race this weekend at the Calvin Invitational, finishing ninth amongst a strong field of competitors.

The Belles were up against three of the top teams in Div. III according to the USTFCCCA polls: No. 2 Calvin, No. 10 Case Western and No. 20 University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

The field also included several teams that are ranked nationally in Div. II including No. 3 Grand Valley State, No. 6 Ohio Northern and No. 8 Baldwin Wallace. .

“It was a pretty stacked race with some ranked Div, III teams,” Belles coach Jackie Bauters said. “It’s not necessarily about seeing the team place well so much as seeing them work on the things we’ve been talking about and hopefully with the caliber of the meet, have some really great times.”

The Belles traveled in packs on Saturday with their top five runners all finishing within 35 seconds of each other.

Junior Megan McClowry led the Belles to the finish line once again this season with a time of 20:22 – a season best for McClowry.

“The difference for me this season is due to summer training,” she said. “I was able to come in with a good base and then my teammates have helped push the pace at workouts this season.”

McClowry has been the front runner in each of the races the Belles have competed in this season.

Freshman Joanne Almond and sophomore Catie Salyer finished within a second of each other with times of 20:29, and 20:30 respectively.

Senior co-captain Cailtin Brodmerkel was close behind that pair by running her own personal best time of 20:32. Fellow senior Erin Seidelmann also set a personal record and finished with a time of 22:59.

Freshman Arianne Rodriguez rounded out the top five runners for the Belles with a time of 20:57.

Freshman Hanna Vicary and sophomore Clare McVey also finished with times of 21:09, and 21:16 for the Belles.

“One of our goals for the team this year is to improve upon our finish in the conference,” McClowry said. “Last year we got fourth place, which was the highest place we had gotten, and we hope to better our place this year. One of my goals, along with some of the other girls is to consistently break the 20 minute barrier in the 5k.”

While McClowy and her teammates did not break the 20 minute barrier in this race they will be hosting the MIAA Jamboree this coming weekend on Saint Mary’s campus. The men’s race will begin at 5 p.m., with the women’s race beginning at 6 p.m.